Posts by tag: Grey Market

Suzuki May 25, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

 

Today's Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250 is part of the rare and weird collection that the seller has been liquidating over the past few weeks. It may not be museum-quality, but it has obviously been well cared-for and would make a great weekend rider, assuming you live somewhere it can be titled. Rare and desirable here in the USA, Suzuki's RGV250Γ was basically the GSX-R of two-stroke sportbikes: it was fast, a bit wild, and ubiquitous in markets where it was sold new.

But here in the USA, these little Gammas are extremely difficult to find. Go looking for a Honda NSR250 at any given time, and you'll likely come up with at least something. But RGVs are pretty few and far between, in any condition. In fact, here in the US, the closest many of us may have come to the RGV is the Aprilia RS250 that is much more common and uses the same engine, with some minor tuning and cosmetic differences. 

The 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the period seemed cut from the same cloth, although each managed to have its own character: light and stiff aluminum beam frame, liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel or v-twin engine, some form of power valve technology, a six-speed gearbox, sub-300lb dry weight, and lots of proprietary acronyms plastered across the fairings. In this VJ22's case you'll note "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the 55-ish horsepower 90° twin's meager midrange. Earlier VJ21s had 17" front and 18" wheels, updated here in the VJ22 to a pair of 17" hoops that should give a wider choice of modern rubber. Weight for the VJ22 was up a bit over previous models, largely owing to that beautiful but complex and heavy asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that left space on the right-hand side of the bike for the bulging expansion chambers that fed those sexy shotgun exhausts.

From the seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

Saved the best for last! This will be the last Suzuki RGV250 up for auction. The honey hole is drying up quickly.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A with only 8,780 kilometers (5,455 miles) on the odometer. This RGV runs like the day it was new. I don't know the service history but it sure pulls like its been de restricted. Speedometer has been changed to a 300KPH clock so actual mileage is unknown. We see lots of these 250's with speedo's changed from the stock 180kph clocks to 300kph. This RGV has scratches throughout the bike. Tank looks like new. Mirrors and front fender show sun fade. The lower center V-fairing behind the front wheel has a broken tab and has a crack that needs to be fixed. Bike has great curb appeal and looks very nice. Bike comes tastefully upgraded with after market pipes and stingers, aftermarket levers and grips and steel braided brake lines. All fairings are 100% OEM Suzuki factory.

Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a Bstreet motorcycle for road use.

Scratches and scrapes throughout. Now there's an honest assessment from the seller, and should give potential buyers a good idea of what to expect here: it's clean, but definitely a used motorcycle. Those Brembo front brakes don't look original but should be a worthwhile upgrade. The levers and grips maybe not so much, but those are easily changed to suit your taste. It isn't perfect but, as stated earlier, might make a great weekend rider or a rolling restoration. You'll have to source parts from overseas, but the internet is a wonderful thing and most of what you need should be available to keep an RGV running.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale
Yamaha May 18, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 for Sale

We've spilled a lot of ink [pixels?] here on RSBFS about the Yamaha FZR400 so you're probably thinking if you've seen one, you've seen them all. But take a closer look at this little sportbike, especially the front: in place of the usual twin round lamps like you'd normally see on the FZR is a single, trapezoidal light that leaves the bike looking quite a bit like the two-stroke TZR. What we have here is a grey-market FZR400RR, a bike seldom seen outside its home market of Japan.

The RR was the slightly less extreme, less expensive, road-biased version of the very trick FZR400RR SP. It features a revised gearbox with a more street-oriented first gear compared to the SP, which means less clutch-slippage is required to get underway. It also has a dual seat on the off-chance your prospective passenger is proportioned like a 10 year old child, although it shares a committed riding position with its racy sibling. A 352lb dry weight and a lightweight aluminum frame mean confidence-inspiring handling and the RR has a 17" wheel at each end so modern rubber can be fitted, although the rear is a skinny-ish 160.

399cc might not sound like all that much, but a claimed 66hp, combined with exemplary handling, means plenty of thrills and fun to be had chasing the 14,000 rpm redline. Plenty of bigger machines rev just as high these days, but the FZR really only makes power near redline, so you'll need to keep the engine spinning to extract the available power. Or just find a nice FZR600 powerplant and slot that in: the FZR600 used a heavy steel frame and is generally much less desirable than the flyweight FZR400, but it's pretty simple to fit the bigger, punchier motor into the nimbler aluminum-framed FZR400 to create a bit of a canyon-carving hot rod.

From the Seller: 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 for Sale

Up for auction is one of the best handling motorcycles ever made from Yamaha. The 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 with only 3663 kilometers (2276 miles). This bike is in almost perfect condition. Still has the factory warning labels. I can only find a few flaws (for the boys in the cheap seats) The ignition switch decal has been carelessly rubbed off from extra keys on the key chain vibrating while the bike was being ridden. A little bit of sun fade on the left handlebar control switches. A couple of tiny paint dots (touch up) on the right side of the tank that don't show up in pictures but they are there. Original tires are soft but have cracks in them. This bike doesn't need much to be turned into a museum quality addition to any collection.

The bike is 100% OEM original Yamaha fairings and components. Original brake pads, chain and sprockets, tires, exhaust and components. This is a very nice unmolested collector quality FZR. This is a premium bike. A Utah state title will be presented to the lucky winner. This FZR400RR has been titled as a street motorcycle for road use.

Bidding on the auction is up to $2,370.00 at this point, with a few days left on the auction. This particular bike comes from a seller that's been unloading quite a few high-quality, quirky grey-market bikes in the past couple of weeks. This may not be the most valuable bike in his collection, but should be affordable and, like the other bikes that we've seen, is in very nice, if not absolutely perfect cosmetic condition: there is minor corrosion on some of the metal surfaces, but is generally very very sharp and the plastics look great considering the age. It also comes with a valid Utah title, which means you might just be able to ride it on the street if your local DMV is sympathetic.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1992 Yamaha FZR400RR 3TJ1 for Sale
Honda May 13, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda NSR150 SP for Sale

Intended for the Asian market, I'm not sure I've ever seen an NSR150 SP for sale here in the USA before. As with the bigger NSR250, this was not a budget commuter, and included plenty of high-tech components to match the Repsol race-rep paint job. Obviously, style is key for a first bike that will likely be purchased by a younger rider attracted to the sleek lines and evocative Repsol colors, but that doesn't mean everyone wants plastic tires and budget components that they will quickly outgrow.

It certainly has big-bike technology to match the big-bike looks, and is festooned with typical acronyms and cool-sounding names: the PRO-ARM single-sided swingarm is featured prominently, and the bike also includes a six-speed gearbox, Nikasil coated cylinders, and RC valves to improve the little 149cc engine's flexibility, as well as HECS or "Honda Evolution Catalyzing System" to help it meet rising emission standards. And in typical two-stroke form, the little NSR150 SP makes a big claimed 39.5hp and 19 lb.ft of torque, although that seems pretty ambitious and I've not seen any independent articles that confirm this output.

The package weighed in at just 268lbs dry, so this thing should be a bit of a rocket if you're expecting mere scooter performance and handling. It's probably not the ideal bike if you've got typically... American proportions but, if you're of smaller stature, this might make a very cool ride and a great conversation-starter, even if if offers only modest performance.

From the Seller: 1992 Honda NSR150SP for Sale

Very RARE in the USA, seldom ever seen 1992 Honda NSR 150 SP Repsol edition. 150cc two stroke single cylinder liquid cooled engine. My money says this is the fastest way thru a tight corner on two wheels, lol. Only one owner with only 740 kilometers (460 miles). This bike is in as new condition. As I like to say, It was loved as a child, lol. 100% original OEM Honda factory stock condition. Bike has new oil, coolant and filters serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Utah state title in my company name will be presented to the buyer. Premium museum quality.

As with the seller's previous bikes, there are a few minor cosmetic imperfections visible on exposed metal surfaces, but the plastics appear to be in excellent condition and the bike is basically ready for its next collector-owner. This may not have the pedigree of an RC30 or even an NC30 but it certainly is rare and exotic!

-tad

 

Featured Listing: 1992 Honda NSR150 SP for Sale
Honda May 9, 2017 posted by

Tiny Four: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

"When it rains, it pours" seems to apply to cool motorcycles. Haven't seen a GSX-R750LE in a long time? Suddenly, four or five examples come up for sale. I'm not sure why: maybe it's that folks hoarding them with an eye towards eventual sale suddenly see a demand for them and want to get in on the action? Or maybe individuals who've stashed them away from new are all of a certain age and are looking to liquidate their collections as they get older and less able to ride? Whatever the reason, we've seen a number of small displacement, grey-market sportbikes like this Honda CBR250R MC19 come up for sale recently in excellent condition, so if you've a hankering for tiny fours, take a look!

250s have long been associated here in the USA with learner bikes and hypermiling commuters. Generally powered by economical twins and singles, they offer low cost and high reliability, with racy styling, garish graphics, and names that link them to bigger, more capable sportbikes. But in countries where engines with greater displacement are disproportionately expensive to purchase heavily taxed, or limited by licensing laws, small inline fours like this one wrote a fascinating, if short, chapter in motorcycling history.

At a glance, the specifications look like they could come from a typical race-replica: liquid-cooled inline four, six-speed gearbox, 337lb dry weight... Then you get to that displacement: 48.5mm x 33.8mm for just 249cc. The claimed 40 horsepower is shockingly respectable although the 18,000rpm redline speaks to how hard you'll have to work to access it. This example has a bit of wear around the edges, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a well cared-for, but nearly 30 year old motorcycle.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale

For those of you that missed the Kawasaki ZXR250 sale, you get another chance for an exciting 250cc grey market Honda sport bike. This will be the last 18,000 RPM screaming 250cc inline four I will be selling. From the Honda room, comes a very special 1988 Honda CBR 250R MC19. This CBR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to the moon and redlines at 18,000 RPM's. Its a blast to ride! This CBR is a one owner bike with only 310 kilometers (192 miles). Completely stock condition just like the day it rolled off the assembly line. Every fairing and component is 100% original stock Honda. Bike has never fallen over or been down. This CBR has a few scratches here and there from moving around the garage but shows like new. Bike is in very nice original condition and shows light patina throughout.   Bike has been serviced with new oil, coolant and filters have been serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Bike comes with Utah title in my company name and will be presented to the new owner.

With just 192 miles on the odometer, this one is certainly worthy of being put on display. Bidding is up to about $2,400 at the time of writing, with plenty of activity. The usual titling issues may apply if you're in a state with a strict DMV, so do your homework if you plan to do more than display this sweet little machine.

-tad

Tiny Four: 1988 Honda CBR250R MC19 for Sale
Kawasaki May 3, 2017 posted by

Tiny and Green: 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 for Sale

Little sportbikes like this very nice Kawasaki ZXR250 were never imported to the USA for a very good reason: there was basically zero demand for them. In other countries, licensing limitations, high taxes on larger-displacement bikes, and much more expensive fuel mean that riders don't necessarily graduate from a 250 to a 600 to a full-on literbike. In places where you're incentivized to "think small" a bike like this makes perfect sense, since it has the big-bike styling, real sportbike handling, and mechanical sophistication an experienced rider might want, all in a fun-size package.

The bike was introduced in 1988 with a major mechanical and styling refresh in 1991. Displacing just 249cc, that little jewel of an engine produced a claimed 45 hp and just a sliver of torque at 18 ft.lbs and could push the 311 lb dry machine all the way to 124 mph. Obviously, the ZXR250 isn't going to offer up all that much more in the way of straight-line performance compared to something like a modern Ninja 300: you can't get blood from a stone. Or in this case, horsepower from just 15 cubic inches. And modern entry-level machines provide technology this little Kawasaki couldn't dream of. But with modern 250s mostly built around torquey singles or economical parallel twins, this inline four with its positively shrieking 19,000 rpm redline may offer more noise than actual power, but it also provides plenty of rider involvement to go with that spine-tingling sound.

Modern entry-level sportbikes have powerplants chosen for their simplicity, economy, ease-of-maintenance, and torquey power delivery so new riders can focus more on riding and less on shifting gears to chase insane redlines. So obviously, a carbureted inline four-cylinder will require much more effort to maintain and more skill to ride effectively, but I expect fans of small sportbikes know exactly what they're in for with a bike like this. Today's example has had a few miles roll under the wheels, but looks from photos to be in exceptionally good condition. I prefer the earlier style fairings with twin round headlamps, but that's simply a matter of taste. You certainly can't argue with the condition of what's on display here or those very 1990s HVAC hoses leading to the airbox...

From the original eBay listing: 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 for Sale

Up for your consideration is a RARE MINT CONDITION low mileage 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 with 19,518 Kilometers (12,127 miles). It is in mint condition and has new battery, Kawasaki filter & engine oil, new coolant flush, new brake fluid, new spark plugs and original air filter was serviced. This ZXR250 isn't your typical Ninja 250 that was sold here in the states. This ZXR has an inline four cylinder engine that revs to a 19,000 redline. In my opinion, its one of the best bikes you can ride on a twisty road. Even though this ZXR250 is completely stock, it comes with an extra carbon fiber aftermarket slip on muffler included in the sale.

When we received the bike, It was taken apart and cleaned and inspected along with the full service. We noticed that the bike has been very well taken care of over the years. You can tell it was loved as a child, lol. The bike runs and rides like the day it was new. Would make a great addition to any collection. This ZXR250 comes with a clean Utah title in my company name that will be presented to the new owner.

Bidding is up just past $3,000 with several days left on the auction. Interest in these little machines seems pretty high when they come up for auction, and several CBR250RRs have been featured on this site recently. They offer good handling and great looks, but very modest power, so I think you're mainly buying these for the novelty, that insane and very accessible redline, or as a Kawi completist. There are definitely more economical ways to sportbike, but fewer more stylish.

-tad

Tiny and Green: 1994 Kawasaki ZXR250 for Sale
Yamaha April 27, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 with 94 Original Miles for Sale

Sometimes, the amazingly low-mileage bikes that we stumble across surprise me. I mean, who at the time it was new would think to ferret away a pristine Yamaha FZR400? Of course it was always a cool bike, but the kind of thing you'd buy and preserve as a collectible? Seems strange, but the upside is that someone gets to bid on this example that has the classic white-and-blue "speedblock" graphics and just 94 miles from new.

Modern vehicle technology is incredible, offering up reliability, safety, and efficiency at an affordable cost. New motorcyclists are almost spoiled for choice these days, with slick, utilitarian offerings from Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, and even KTM that look good and perform well. They don't offer much in the way of inspirational engine notes or cutting-edge handling, however: all are powered by parallel twins or singles and sound a bit agricultural or slightly obnoxious, depending on whether you have a Two Bros exhaust fitted or not.

The middleweight sportbike class is fast disappearing as well, with just the GSX-R600 and R6 left as Honda and Triumph discontinue their 600cc sportbikes. But in the late 1980s, you were spoiled for choice, and the FZR400 offered a stepping-stone up in terms of refinement from something fast but a bit crude like a TZR250. Most of the 400cc sportbikes never made it to the USA officially, as demand for what would be considered "small" sportbikes has always been pretty non-existent. We got a few bikes with their genes like the Honda CB1, but those never sold well either, making all bikes in the class pretty rare and desirable these days.

The FZR400's 399cc four-cylinder produced a claimed 64hp, still plenty of power for a bike that weighed 410lbs wet, but, with little power below 5,000 rpm, the rev-happy motor meant you had to work it like a two-stroke to make fast progress for maximum rider involvement. Interestingly, the FZR400 was a much more serious weapon than the bigger 600 although they look nearly identical at a glance. The 400 made less power but handled better due to the lighter, stiffer aluminum frame used by the smaller bike, versus the 600's steel part. Yes, the 600 fits into the 400's frame, so if you come across a 400 with a blown or high-mileage motor, you might want to consider finding a 600 to rebuild and slot in instead.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 for Sale

Up for your consideration is a very RARE, very nice low mileage almost new 1988 Yamaha FZR 400 3EN1 with only 152 Kilometers (94 miles). It is in mint condition and has new battery, Yamaha filter & engine oil, new coolant flush, new fork seals and fork oil,  new brake fluid, new spark plugs and original air filter was serviced. Runs like the day it was new. Carburetor jets and needles are original and still comes with the factory jetting set from the factory. This FZR in mint condition and near museum quality. It still has the original factory tires, however there are age cracks in the sidewalls. There is patina here and there as you would expect from a 29 year old motorcycle. This FZR still has its original chain & sprockets, original brake pads and all original fairings and factory components. There is a small crack in the windscreen, however I have a new windscreen that will come with the bike. I haven't installed it to preserve the originality of the bike.

When we received the bike, It was taken apart and cleaned and inspected along with the full service. The muffler was chromed and re-finished to look new again. This FZR would make a excellent candidate for restoration, making it a true museum piece for your living room or just keep it and ride the hell out of it and make your friends jealous, lol. This FZR comes with a clean Utah title in my company name that will be presented to the new owner.

Okay, so the $8,999 asking price is pretty stupid money for a 400cc Japanese sportbike. Or at least is is right now: scoff all you like but I bet in a few years, Yamaha fans will be wishing they'd jumped in when these were so cheap... Especially at this mileage, although part of what's so cool about the FZR400 is the light weight and agile handling, so it's kind of a waste as a museum piece. I'm also not sure even very many of your motorcycling buddies will be very jealous if you have this in your garage or living room, let alone your more normal friends. Bidding's already up to $7,600 with plenty of interest, so I'll be interested to see if it makes it to that Buy It Now price.

-tad

Collector Alert: 1988 Yamaha FZR400 with 94 Original Miles for Sale